Searching For Sales Talent?
Looking for a Career Change?
Why Hire Sales Talent Group?
- Focused – Sales niche only
- Proven track record – Over 17 years
- Powerful Network – Database of over 20,000 sales professionals
- Direct Sourcing Experts – Hunter mentality to find your candidates
- Process – Embrace topgrading as a hiring methodology*
- Responsiveness – Operate with “urgency”
- Follow through – Do what we say we will
Results that matter:
- Successfully placed over 800 Sales Professionals since 1998
- 90% fill rate vs 37% industry average
- 93% 12 month retention rate vs 40% industry average
- 98% customer retention
Who Says So?
The Recruitment Process is a Complex Sales Process
and Should Be Treated as Such
What would your sales process look like if you were trying to close a million-dollar deal? It would be complex, relationship oriented (multiple contact levels), and strategic in nature. There is much more to it, but you get the general idea. It’s like any complex sales opportunity you have worked on, and you need this same mindset when recruiting top sales talent to your organization.
Think of the hiring process as a million-dollar deal. That’s a truth on both sides of the recruiting conversation, as a great match between a sales leader and a company is easily worth a million plus in profit for the company, as well as income for the candidate during their career with you. Therefore, you need to give it as much attention and effort as it takes to close a million-dollar sales opportunity.
So, what does a million-dollar recruitment process look like?
Job Design NOT a Job Description:
Before the recruiting process even begins, you should start with a job design, not a job description. Here’s the difference: A job description tells us what to do in a job. A job design tells us what needs to get done in a job. If things go sideways, no one will be fired for what task they didn’t do, but for what ultimately didn’t get done in their job.
A job design begins by outlining five to seven key accountabilities and results that are quantified (%, #, $). You then need to understand what competencies (skills/behaviors) are necessary to successfully accomplish those desired results. It is also important that you recognize what your cultural landscape is today and how you want it to look in the future. During the job design process, it is important that all members of the internal team share in its creation, so that the same vision will be communicated to the candidate come interview time.
More Tips for a Successful Recruitment Process:
These are not the only tips for a successful recruitment process – we could have added many more — but these are what we consider the most critical. Your internal or external recruiting partner should help in clarifying and/or defining these items for you.
- Compensation/Intangibles: Based on the job design, is the compensation budgeted for the position aligned with the current market? If not, then you need to adjust your job design expectations or increase the compensation level. In general, a passive candidate needs a minimum of a 15% increase in salary and double that at plan to make a change. Intangibles like less travel, upward mobility, interesting product, and professional development are also important factors, sometimes weighing in more heavily than compensation.
- Concise Interview Process: No more than 3 interviews. If needed, consider using a panel interview to accommodate for more team member input. Just like in sales, time kills deals. Don’t drag it out.
- Communication: Respond to candidates in a timely manner (within 24 hours) regarding next steps. This holds true for your internal and external recruiting partner as well. Don’t be afraid to tell a candidate “no” when they are not moving forward. Maintain frequent contact with interested candidates to keep them engaged and enthusiastic about your role (always be selling!).
- Fit: Keep the job design at the forefront of every hiring decision. Don’t just “go with your gut” or hire someone who is like you. Hire the right person for the job based on the skills and behaviors you have outlined in your job design.
- Closing the Candidate: Think you have found your perfect candidate? Be prepared to make an offer once the final interview happens. Similar to closing a sales deal, anticipate the candidate’s potential objections, understand how to overcome them, and know the areas in which to negotiate.
- Onboarding: I would estimate less than 10% of our clients have a well-defined and thorough onboarding process. Make sure you have one! (A future newsletter is coming on this topic – stay tuned!)
As with any million-dollar deal, use the resources around you (like Sales Talent Group!) to improve your chances of closing the sale. We have samples of key accountabilities and competencies, compensation data, interview questions, scorecards, and much more to help you structure the process from beginning to end. Call us with questions or for more information about improving your recruitment process and allow us to partner with you to find the best sales talent in the marketplace.
CEO and Managing Partner
John O’Brien is the Founder, CEO and Managing Partner of Sales Talent Group, an executive search firm specializing in placing sales leadership, outside sales, and insides sales professionals nationwide for the past 20 years.